What To Expect When A Loved One Goes To Rehab

When a loved one goes to Rehab, it is often a hard time for family. Learning what to expect in this time can help you support your loved one when they need it most.

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If a family member or loved one is going to a rehab facility, you may feel relieved that they are seeking the help they need for their substance abuse.

However, it is normal to also feel worried, especially if you’re not sure how to support them during the treatment process.

Knowing what to expect when your loved one attends treatment can help you understand what they are going through in each stage of substance abuse treatment.

The Admissions Process

When your loved one is admitted to a treatment center for substance use treatment, they will go through a thorough intake process to assess their needs and put together a comprehensive treatment plan.

While the initial process is usually completed in a matter of hours, there are several steps that will help ensure your loved one receives the best possible care.

Initial Intake And Interviews

The initial intake and interviews are used to discover the ideal treatment options for your loved one to help address their substance use disorder effectively.

Intake interviews often involve a set of questions to identify the level of addiction as well as the possible presence of co-occurring disorders.

Questions may include information about:

All information provided during intake is kept confidential and is strictly used to provide your loved one with the appropriate healthcare.

Developing A Treatment Plan

Depending on the level of care your loved one needs, one or more of the following services may be recommended.

Your loved one’s treatment plan may include:

Your loved one’s healthcare team will help to determine the best treatment modalities for effective treatment.

The Detoxification Process

Detox is a very challenging time in addiction recovery due to intense cravings and withdrawal symptoms. As a result, contact with family is often limited during this time.

At Bedrock Recovery Center, our clinicians use medical detox to provide support to our clients during detoxification. Medical supervision and medications are used to ease withdrawal symptoms and provide comfort.

When needed, drug tapering is used during this process when a person is dependent on substances that require a slow reduction in dosage for their safety.

Residential Addiction Treatment

Residential addiction treatment programs may involve a variety of treatment modalities, including individual therapy, group therapy, and family therapy.

If you’re a close family member, then you may be asked to take part in some treatments at Bedrock Recovery Center, such as family therapy and family psychoeducation.

Family Therapy

Family therapy for alcohol and drug addiction can vary depending on who is being treated and who is involved.

However, all family therapy aims to improve family function and provide support to the person in recovery.

Studies suggest that those who have proper family support are more likely to remain in treatment and achieve long-term recovery.

Family therapy may involve talking to family members with the person in recovery or talking with family members individually.

Family Psychoeducation

Family psychoeducation provides families with information about the recovery process and aims to engage them in treatment, enhance social support, and develop communication and problem-solving skills.

Psychoeducation can take place in individual or group sessions with family members, single family groups, or multiple family group sessions.

Psychoeducation helps family members to:

Including family members in psychoeducation can improve treatment outcomes for patients, reduce the rate of substance use, and enhance the family’s well-being.


Aftercare can include 12-step programs, non-12-step support groups, continued therapy, and self-care are crucial to maintaining sobriety.

The family is often encouraged to be involved in aftercare planning.

Aftercare is believed to be an essential part of effective treatment for substance use, especially for those with more complex substance use disorders.

Outpatient Treatment

If your loved one has a less severe form of addiction, they may be able to attend outpatient treatment.

Outpatient treatment involves the person going to treatment during the day and being home at night.

Family is still encouraged to be involved in outpatient treatment through therapy sessions and aftercare planning.

With outpatient treatment, the family can serve as a network to hold the patient accountable while they attend treatment.

Support Groups

There are a variety of support groups not only for your loved one but for the family.

Support groups such as Al-anon, Nar-anon, and SMART Recovery provide support for families of those living with substance use issues.

These groups provide a needed resource for family members to receive support from other families going through similar situations.

Learn More About Substance Abuse Treatment At Bedrock

If a loved one is ready to receive professional help, we can help. Contact Bedrock Recovery Center to learn more about our rehab programs.

  1. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) https://al-anon.org/
  2. Narcotics Anonymous (NA) https://www.nar-anon.org/
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) https://nida.nih.gov/sites/default/files/podat-3rdEd-508.pdf/
  4. National Library of Medicine: Bookshelf https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64119/
  5. National Library of Medicine: Bookshelf https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK83253/
  6. National Library of Medicine: Bookshelf https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK571088/
  7. National Library of Medicine: PubMed https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32826618/
  8. National Library of Medicine: PubMed https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3725219/
  9. National Library of Medicine: PubMed https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7813220/
  10. State of Oregon https://www.oregon.gov/oha/HPA/DSI-Pharmacy/MHCAGDocs/Tapering-Benzodiazepines.pdf/
  11. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) https://store.samhsa.gov/product/tip-45-detoxification-and-substance-abuse-treatment/sma15-4131/
  12. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) https://store.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/SAMHSA_Digital_Download/PEP20-02-02-012-508%20PDF.pdf/
  13. Victoria State Government https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/servicesandsupport/intake-and-assessment-for-alcohol-and-drug-problems/

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

Published on: February 27, 2024

© 2024 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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